It was our birthday last week, and some friends invited us up to their house in Eureka Springs for the weekend to celebrate, relax, and have FUN, and mission was definitely accomplished.
Hubby & I both took off work friday & monday, and we made it a four day adventure.
This is the einsteins' little friend, Jackson. Handsome little guy, eh?
As soon as we arrived, we dumped our bags in our rooms and ran out to explore. The great thing about Eureka Springs, is that you can walk everywhere once you get there, well, as long as you don't mind walking up an down and up and down summore.
The kids loved "hiking" on the many, many, MANY hills.
Check out this bath house.
What kind of bath house was it back in the day? I have no idea. But the sign is quite interesting.
Of COURSE we couldn't explore the city without doing some more geocaching. We actually ended up calling this one the "poo cache" because Em ended up stepping in a big pile of poo trying to find it. :/
The city was FULL of old buildings and shops and houses. I was daydreaming ALL day & night that I could travel back in time to see what this place looked like a hundred years ago.
The boys had SO much fun together! The house has 3 floors, and the scenery from each of the decks was AMAZING! I have GOT to go back in the spring & fall when everything is full of leaves and such. You know how I am about trees! *swoon*.
The next day we headed off to the Onyx Cave. I had heard it was good for kids, since it was short and sweet, and you got to sport these fab earphones for the self guided tour.
(Check out Brandi - she's looking very princess leia, no?)
This was the most ADORABLE creature I saw all weekend!
After our adventures underground (and when I say underground, i mean, we almost had to rock climb straight up to get back up to the car!), we headed up to the Roaring River Hatchery in Missouri.
It. Was. Gorgeous.
We spent about a kazillion dollars in quarters to feed the trout in the hatchery's tanks as people fished them out in the crystal clear streams all around.
In the far corner of the hatchery is a place that held me enamored for quite some time. Had we not been in a drought for years, I imagine that this waterfall would be roaring down into the aquamarine colored water below, but as it was, a few drops would fall every now and again, and the large trouts could be seen so easily swimming around in the deep cave waters.
Remember this waterfall's opening at the top...
...because afterwards, we hiked all the way up...
and could see where the water would be falling down into the cave.
Now THAT, my friends, was a lotta climbing!
On the descent, we ran into this guy...
Who let the masses pass, but when Brandi & I walked by all freaked out and stealth-like, the little turd jumped up and tried to EAT US WHOLE!
Okay, so maybe that's a smallish embellishment, but he DID jump at Brandi as I went all lightning down the hill screaming.
Mark tried to move him from the path that so many children were running up and down, just to keep everyone safe.
He was NOT happy about that, and in the end, we just warned every person we could about the man-eating beast up the trail.
After we got back down to the ground level, we decided that we sure hadn't climbed enough yet, and decided to scurry on up this big tree that was just CALLING us to come sit in it's branches and rest.
Lookie at me! Im up there!
I felt like the little boy in my fav "The Giving Tree" book.
C'mon tree, gimmie some DP and pringles if you love me.
I suppose that may have been the cap on climbing.
The way home brought us to a couple more geocaches. One here at Sleepy's, which we ended up having to get help from the cachemaster's momma who ran the store.
Then it was off to W.T. Focker's where we picked up my favorite cache of the trip. Inside, we scored a big ol' gorilla toy for grandad and our first travelling item!
Day three was rainy and cold, and it was actually the day I did the most exploration. Of course that naturally means that I left my camera because of the rain, and left my hone because we were only going out down the street a bit...and ended up going on an hour+ walk down the hill to the old train depot and some AWESOME abandoned buildings.
The last day of our trip took us to the Crescent Hotel - America's most haunted hotel, (and the reason i wanted to go see it.)
You weren't allowed to go into the guest room corridors without being an actual guest, so Em and I walked up the windy staircases as far as we could go.
There was an observation deck outside that looked over the city.
It's where we met a couple of the housekeepers on their smoke break. We got to talking, and one of them told me that the most haunted room in the hotel was open, if I wanted to go see it. They were headed there to clean next.
Ummm, YES please!
So Emma & I went in and snapped some pictures so that you, my gracious readers, could see photographical proof of the ghosts inside.
But the room was really cool - slash- creepy. Have you seen Paranormal Activity where the freakish ghost comes out of that little attic door?!?
Our invitation for a nice ghost to join us in a pose went unanswered.
We left the hotel with no more proof of hauntings than when we arrived, and headed up to the crystal chapel to shed them off, had they followed us into the car all stealth-like.
This place has a very interesting story behind it. The man who built it actually makes me think of a man I know & love very much.
We had a WONDERFUL time on our trip.
Thank you, M, B, & J for inviting us to your beautiful home.